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Body Lessons | Opening A Restaurant (Jar + Fork Miami)

I may have said this a million times already, but here is a snapshot of my life in case this post doesn’t make sense. Feel free to skip over it . . .

I am a natural foods chef who graduated culinary school in NYC and left her life behind on the east coast to move to Hawaii without any help to see what I was made of. I crafted my career by staying open minded and hustling at various jobs all the while working on who I am as a person. Once I was happy, I attracted my husband into my life who works on submarines in the Navy. He is gone a lot, sometimes for long periods of time with zero contact. We are stationed here for another year and a half. To make the best of this time, my friend turned business partner and I manifested creating a business which was much in line with our lives work by changing people for the better through food. The stars aligned for us earlier this year and so us and a few other partners opened up our first restaurant and cold-pressed juice bar in an empire of many to come. This very first precious location happens to be Jar + Fork Miami Florida, far far away from home in Hawaii. So, I have begun the process of traveling back and fourth which will probably go on for a while.

Last month, for the very first time I traveled out and stayed for 6 weeks.  This time was incredibly hectic as we were in the construction, design and general setting up our concept stage. There are a lot of things I learned about myself in this period of time, but I am going to pluck out the things I learned about my body, health and appearance.

1.) WTF is Hunger!? – we all got very physical moving furniture, wood, concrete, deli slicers . . . you name it. You get so wrapped up in the craziness that you don’t really notice little pangs of hunger until it is screaming at you out of necessity to get your shit done. There is a fine line here though.  If you are able to get to the point of true hunger and not emptiness, you actually are able to feel what your body is craving and needing. For me it happened to be mostly fats and protein and not really often was it carbs. If you go too long without eating which also happened, your mood not only becomes sour but you lose those signals and sometimes even lose the urge to eat. BAD SITUATION!

2.) Exercise is CRUCIAL for Happiness – For me, I’ve mostly had it in my head that exercise was purely a step in the right direction towards an aesthetic goal. As motivating as it was to have a goal to reach, it took the actual fun and anti-stress benefits out of the equation. I worked out a LOT more than I ever thought I would in those 6 weeks.  It didn’t really matter so much WHAT I was doing, but more that I had an escape some mornings to be by myself in nature or alone in the skimpy gym pushing my body to its limits. It’s because of this experience that I am truly ok with just “going for a jog” or having a random lifting session. I know that whatever I CAN do is benefiting me, especially in times of high stress. When things slow down (i.e. I am home in Hawaii) I get to focus more on streamlining my goals and specifically doing things to work towards them.

3.) The Scale Is Not King – I waited until I was hungry to eat, and when I did I ate mostly “healthy” things and a lot of the times I didn’t.  I worked out about 3x a week and moved around a lot during the day and used my brain a lot as well. When I got home after 6 weeks, I weighed myself and saw a shocking number which happened to be the same number as when I left. My body composition surely changed but the scale did not.  In fact, this keeps happening over and over and I will admit that it is STILL hard to not accept the number on the scale as a way to measure short-term progress, but every time this happens, it helps.



4.)Doing Something Amazing Boosts Body Image – Before I left, I was counting macros and thrown deep into the cycle of trying to figure out the plan to make myself look better. See those videos HERE. When I lack confidence, I often turn to the reason being that I don’t look good and spend any free time I have trying to change that. Opening this restaurant, I simply didn’t have TIME to focus on body-shaming because I was too busy doing something that was much bigger than that. The confidence I gained from that period of time made me feel better about myself, including what I look like. When you truly feel there is more to you than what you look like, your priorities definitely shift.

Summer Plans | 2015

Well, I feel a lot better than I did in the last week.

Along with journaling and yesterday’s blog post, I was able to slow down and reflect on everything instead of scrambling around like a manic mouse.

I was able to have 2 phone conversations with some quality girlfriends as well as attack this accounting nightmare whilst watching YouTube through apple tv in our bedroom.

IMG_6982.JPGWe stood firm on not putting a TV in the bedroom, but we purchased an awesome dresser from Bryt and it fit so well on it and we were able to take the living room TV count from 3 to 2. It also helped because I was able to watch vlogs while filling up our bookshelf which eliminated one whole box to be unpacked. We now have 8 left to go.

I was able to get a lot of thinking done about my role here in Hawaii. I know that flying back and fourth from here to physically be at my job will only last for another year and a half.  With the help of my business partner, I also realized that when I left last time we were not open which left me incredibly disconnected from things.  The only way I can see what needs to be done and how we operate is to come back and observe/work.  Then, when I get back here, I will know what is needed and more work will be piling in for me here as it is likely we will be working on our second location!

While I am here, I am a working house-wife who spends her free time on personal projects (fitness, blogging, vlogging) and when her husband has free time, we vacation on island chipping away and documenting our bucket list before we leave for good. 

I’m pretty happy with that.

I guess part of me needs a plan or some sort of direction, even if it changes constantly and is all in my head.

But anyway . . . 

Here is a rough draft of our plans for the Summer of 2015

June – I fly back to Miami to cram as much work and observance as I can for 10 days.  Mike will fly in about half way through to finally see what we’ve created and get put to work a bit too ;) .  After that, we fly to NJ together spending 3 days with my family and friends.  On the last day we rent a car and start driving down the east coast.

July – We meet up with groups of Mike’s family and spend about 3 days each for each chunk of family including fourth of july which will be spent in Atlanta. We drive to Charleston, spend some time there and fly back to Hawaii together where we have decided to visit another island (likely Maui) for a few days instead of spend a crazy amount of money on a week long vacation in Orlando like we want.  We are thinking that will be our post-deployment vacation.

August – I planned to head back to Miami for a short time if Mike also had to leave for a long time, but it doesn’t seem feasible for me physically and financially.  This month will be a roller coaster of happy and sad while we cram in quality time and bucket list happenings all whilst gearing up all of the sad mundane things we have to do before deployment happens.

SN: I will still be working for the restaurant from my (hopefully new) laptop during my trip whenever and however I can!

SN2: Mike’s underway and deployment dates will never be put out there! I will be very discreet in when and how I post my vlogs and blogs that talk about him leaving and where he is etc. 

Cheers to today being positive!


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